As a Teaching Artist, I have the honor to support, encourage, and grow young artists and to aspire them to their full potential. I try to instill my students with curiosity and determination that will set them off on a lifelong exploration of how they work as creators and human beings. I am interested in providing a space where students can learn to ask vital questions. I want to empower my students with the skills and tools to ask questions, search, explore, and find their own personal way of working. As a teacher, I am both a participant and a director. I work to create meaningful experiences for my students and note their individual progress as being noticed and appreciate. I establish a working toolkit in my classroom that we collaboratively work to add to by trying new things, asking questions, and taking up space and time to make connections. I believe the study of theatre opens limitless possibilities. Inevitably, any student of any course of study can make progress through effort and tangible goals. I strive to consistently honor a strong work ethic and offer specific, non-judgmental feedback in my classroom and rehearsal space.
I believe that theatre education provides a powerful tool for all students. Theatre is a collaborative art form; all areas of production work simultaneously as independent and collective teams. This collaborative nature must also extend into theatre education. Collaboration skills are the first fundamental components of my approach to theatre education. In educational theatre, the stage is a blank canvas where students have the opportunity to experiment and apply their experiences from the classroom immediately to the more tangible experience of a production.
My aim is to expose my students to as much as possible. Just as I rely on my varied toolkit as an artist, I also believe that through providing a variety of techniques and methodologies, my students will be able to find their own personal passions. My work is rooted in the ideas of devised theatre, Anne Bogart and Mary Overlie’s Viewpoints, Movement to Music, Labanotation, Lecoq Auto-Cours, directing, improvisation, yoga, and other movement practices. Through the study of acting and directing, students have the opportunity to grow. They learn to take up space, harness energy, speak with confidence, and offer up their vulnerabilities in safe and channeled ways.
Acting requires regular voice and movement work, as our body is our most important tool. Utilizing our body, voice, mind, and imagination acting students will develop methods of self-reflection, grasp the needs and desires of the character, listen, seek relaxed breath and neutral body, strive for attentiveness to detail, and trust in one’s collaborators. In directing or devised work, I focus on the arts of observation, communication, and collaboration. Students explore these through many different types of projects, including creating original characters, neutral scenes, found spaces, movement challenges, short stories, scenes, improvisation, and devised material. They explore ensemble-building through different theatrical traditions and learn a wide variety of techniques with which to create a community of engaged theater artists who trust and find joy in the process.
I approach students as resourceful individuals who have as much to offer a production as it has to offer them. Just as they offer their individual input and presences to a piece I as their educator am fully present with them and allow them to constantly surprise me. Whether my students go on to become professional artists, or if their paths lead outside of the realm of theatre, my objective is to provide them with meaningful skills that will help them grow as people in some fundamental way. In addition to the above values, my curriculum focuses on collaboration, critical thinking, creative problem solving, analysis, empathy, and group mind.